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Simple Tips: Windows 7 Volume Mixer Enables Quick Access to Sound Settings

Windows 7 does more than just add big, shiny new features—it also has loads of little tiny tweaks that just add a really nice touch to the overall usability of the operating system. Let’s take a quick look at one of those tweaks in the volume mixer.

We should start off by pointing out that you can right-click the sound icon in the tray, and get a quick menu that gives you access to Sounds, Mixer, etc.

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If you single-click on the volume icon, it’ll pop up the slider that we’re all familiar with—but you can also click the Speaker icon to open up the Speaker Properties dialog.

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Not surprisingly, you can change your speaker settings in here.

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If you open up the full mixer panel, you can also click on the System Sounds icon…

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Which, naturally, pops up the Sounds panel where you can disable particular sounds, or all of them.

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It’s nothing revolutionary, but Windows 7 is full of these little tiny tweaks that just make things easier to use.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/21/09

Comments (12)

  1. anonymuos

    And so does XP’s and Windows 95′s if you right click.

  2. Ray

    hi, I use my USB headset for making calls on Skye, Gtalk and etc. but would lie a easy way to switch sound to my laptop speakers when listing to music. Is there a easy short cut to switch sound options?

  3. Steve

    Moved to Windows 7 No sound. Can not make it happen.
    Tried everything you talk about, Nothing

  4. sonia

    i cant use mic makes awful noise when i plug in to pc . tried everything.

  5. erik

    Glad you like the windows 7 version. Yes, it’s pretty. Unfortunately it has completely removed the ability to mix sound from CD, WAV, midi or anything useful. This makes it impossible to play something and record it at the same time, which is a terrible limitation! Any ideas?

  6. gyrocog

    It would be neat if it allowed for application release of the mixer control. That way, my ASIO driver wouldn’t report audio output as “unavailable”, and I wouldn’t have to shut down every application I’m running or even reboot my computer to avoid it.

  7. Dimitri

    gyrog and eric,

    “It’s nothing revolutionary, but Windows 7 is full of these little tiny tweaks that just make things easier to use.”

    Nothing revolutionary my left mouse-click!!!
    Things that worked before, don’t work now.

  8. FDpaffie

    and how do you like the new BSOD’s in windows 7 ..it full whit it ,,after a few winupdates

  9. nick chan

    almost everything in Win7 is much less productive than in XP. try deleting an ad-hoc connection that you made. it’s cryptic, menus on left, menus on bottom right. in XP it’s much simpler. Win7 is such a bloat

  10. Rohith

    when i use headset in windows 7 to listen to songs or watch movies the sound comes from both laptop speakers and headset? how to get rid of the sound from laptop while listening in headset???

  11. TheDevian

    While I like being able to control each application’s volume that doesn’t work real well in full screen applications. It takes way more clicks to do anything. And the worst part of all is the window can not be minimized! The only way to minimize it is to “Show Desktop” and then it comes right back as soon as you touch anything.
    XP’s UI was so much easier to use.

  12. John H

    Win 7 makes my old computers run faster. As far as productivity goes, I have to click lots more. Everyone at Microsoft should be forced to work on tiny screens using old computers wearing big gloves so they would be forced to refine the interface.
    Ubuntu is fairly mature now. I look forward to the day I can run my CAD software under WINE.

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